Martin Luther King in Lodi: Stories and Visions (Parts One and Two) (Talking It Through)
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John Morearty made this recording of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration (run by Project Breakthrough) in Lodi, California on January 15, 2002. This documentary, made for the "Talking it Through" cable access TV show, features:
Part One (00:00 - 57:10):
Helen Shields singing "Hold On" (1:35-3:31)
Erica Yoon of Lodi High School, vice president of its Breakthrough Club, discussing post-9/11 peer counseling
the Reverend David Hill, president of the Breakthrough Project
Lodi mayor Phil Pennino
Lodi Unified School District's Irving Jefferson, LUSD's coordinator of community relations
Rev. Hill discussing of a 1998 cross burning in Lodi, the community response to that (including the genesis of the Breakthrough Project), and of the Lodi Police Department's assistance in fighting other hate crimes
Captain Ron Tobeck of the Lodi Police Department
John Morearty introducing an intergenerational dialogue by sharing the lessons he learned from King on the connections among labor organizing, fighting racism, and ending war (09:50-12:55)
On what they have learned from MLK's life and work, an intergenerational dialogue:
* Tiffany Johnson of Bear Creek High School
* Eugene Allen of Tokay High School
* Charron Harris of Tokay High School
* Sweta Patel of Lodi High School (discussing xenophobic jokes)
* Ashkon Shaahinfar of Lodi High School
* Cleveland Gordon, D.A., Child Support Enforcement Program, California Youth Authority
* Lester Patrick, an involved parent in the Lodi Unified School District (at
32:10, Patrick shows the audience a picture from the 1960s, documenting an incident of the North Carolina national guard invading a campus, and describes his experience sitting through a six-day siege in the dormitories)
* Dr. Mamie Darlington, Chair of the Ethnic Studies Program at the University of the Pacific
* Larry Barleen, Franklin High School teacher for 15 years
* Vic Harris, host of "Current Events and your History" on SJTV
over the credits: a communal a capella performance of "We Shall Overcome"
Part Two (59:00-1:30:30):
The intergenerational dialogue continues with more thoughts by Harris, Morearty, Julia Tyack of Lodi High School, Johnson, Darlington, Barleen, Patrick, Gordon, Allen, and Shaahinfar.
Patty Radotic, a teacher and member of the education committee from the Breakthrough Project, thanks the panellists, and thanks the people who have taught her in the past, such as a boy who taught her about Ramadan. She connects the fight against racism with the fight against sexism, and is pleased to see Breakthrough in Lodi, as it fights some aspects of Lodi that repelled her when she first visited it. She compliments Jim Jordan, administrator at Tokay High School, and several other teachers and colleagues, then asks for help from the audience to further Breakthrough's work. (In 2012 Radotic became head of the Breakthrough Project.)
Art Raab of the Breakthrough Project speaks asks the audience to join together and keep hope alive.
The program ends with Radotic asking the panellists and audience to join hands for a communal a capella performance of "We Shall Overcome".
A transcript of John Morearty's monologue, 09:50-12:55:
Thank you, David.
This is a very special conversation that Breakthrough Project has created here this evening, called an intergenerational discussion forum. It's committed young people telling their stories of what Martin Luther King already means to them, in conversation with committed elders who've been in the struggle for a long time, telling their stories of how he touched their lives personally and how the struggle has touched their lives personally and shaped them into the people that they are. It's like the conversations that have gone on for ten thousand years of the elders and the young ones sitting around the fire at night, telling the stories, of how it was in the old days and how the young ones are expected to carry it on, and what the young ones see and what the young ones hope for, and the questions that they have to ask of the elders. So we're really privileged to be a part of that conversation this evening.
The question is: how has the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. touched you as a human being? And I wanna say just two quick words about that myself.
I was not a part of the struggle. I never marched with Martin Luther King. I might have written a check. I went to one rally in Chicago. I didn't get it, really. I grew up with the vision, with the understanding that there's light and there's darkness, you know? The light shines on the darkness and the darkness doesn't get it. The light is good, the darkness is bad.
The first thing I learned from the life of Martin Luther King is that the visionaries of the last hundred years, I would say Gandhi and King and Nelson Mandela and Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, have been people of color. And I think that's not an accident.
Vision comes from oppression.
And the second thing that I learned from his life -- and it took me a while to get this -- is that he was an activist in the civil rights movement for, what, 15 years? something like that, and he was beaten and jailed and spat upon, and spat upon, and all of that, but he survived until he also spoke out against the Vietnam War, calling our country the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, and allied himself with the despised garbage workers of Memphis. And that combination was too much. And they cut him down.
Justice for people of color, justice for people who do the tough work, and an end to our wars: I hold on to those three. That's what I've learned.
I'll start with the young people. Tiffany Johnson from Bear Creek High School, how has MLK touched your life already so far?
Produced and edited by John Morearty
camera: Vince Kotecki
special thanks to:
Rev. Dr. Bo Crowe
The Breakthrough Project
Sponsored by: the Peace & Justice Network of San Joaquin County, Connections newspaper, Stockton Metro Ministry, First Unitarian Universalist Church, Pacific Complementary Medicine Center
Copyright John Morearty 2002
- 2015-07-31 17:09:58
- Closed captioning
- Lodi, California
- Copyright 2002 John Morearty
- Run time
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